Xu ZiYan quivered before staring at the sloppy cultivator with wide eyes. The sloppy cultivator stared back at him with big eyes. As a result, the master and disciple duo proceeded to stare at each other like this, big eyes staring into small eyes. After a long time, Xu ZiYan retreated in defeat as he silently shifted his gaze.
The sloppy cultivator sneered at him once, “Good disciple. Now, I want to hear you call me Master a few times. After all, you’re someone I took great pains to steal from my senior-apprentice brother, the Sect Leader.”
“Esteemed Master, please forgive this disciple and his body’s illness for being incapable of kowtowing in respect.” However, unlike what the sloppy cultivator had expected, not only did Xu ZiYan not get angry when he heard his explanation, he used the arms he could move to greet him earnestly with a ceremonial salute.
The sloppy cultivator was instantly stupefied. Even the apple he had been holding in his mouth fell down. It landed on the bed and rolled around in a few circles, becoming covered with dust.
Seeing the sloppy cultivator’s current stupid appearance, Xu ZiRong suddenly felt gleeful and invigorated. The pent-up frustration he had suffered these couple of days caused by the sloppy cultivator’s oppression had finally dissipated as well. In fact, he suddenly felt unimaginably comfortable.
“Did you hear me wrong?” The sloppy cultivator appeared a bit unreconciled for things to end just like this. “I said, I stole you from the Sect Leader. He originally wanted to accept you as his disciple. If I hadn’t butted in, you would be the Sect Leader’s succeeding chief disciple.”
“This disciple heard your words very clearly. Many thanks for Master’s concern and care.” Xu ZiYan smiled faintly before saying, “Being able to worship you as my Master is already this disciple’s blessing of three lifetimes.”
The sloppy cultivator immediately had nothing more to say. Although Xu ZiYan apparently regarded him higher than the Sect Leader, making him feel quite badass, the way Xu ZiYan didn’t get angry at all made him, someone who liked evilly messing with his disciples, feel no sense of accomplishment ah!
Rubbing his nose, a few hints of contemplation tinged the sloppy cultivator’s gaze as he stared at Xu ZiYan. “Huh. Obedient little disciple, you aren’t an idiot, are you? If you become the Sect Leader’s disciple, there’s a chance you could inherit the Sect Leader’s position in the future.”
Xu ZiYan smiled faintly. “Master is wise, but disciple is dim-witted by nature. Thus, I dare not undertake such an enormous responsibility.”
The sloppy cultivator choked, once again at a loss of words. Then, he glared at Xu ZiYan, looking as if he was hating iron for not becoming steel. “How did I accept a disciple like you? One without any future prospects! You don’t even have any ambition.”
Xu ZiYan smiled so brightly, even his eyes turned into crescents. “Master’s insight is like an illuminating torch. You can even tell that disciple doesn’t have any ambition. Master is truly very wise and far-sighted.”
“Alright, alright. Flattering me more would still be of no use.” The sloppy cultivator shot Xu ZiYan an unfriendly glance. During that time in the array, this brat had obviously not been like this. How had his personality become so greasy the moment he woke up? Had he hit his head on something?
Since he couldn’t win against Xu ZiYan, the sloppy cultivator simply shifted his gaze back onto Xu ZiRong. “What are you looking at? What time is it already? Have you watered the herbal plants in the vegetable garden yet? Have you tended to my spiritual grain yet? Let me tell you, if there’s a drop in crop yield for my spiritual grain, the two of you definitely won’t have a good outcome!” When he got to the end of his speech, the sloppy cultivator deliberately assumed a fierce appearance. He even bared his teeth to scare Xu ZiRong.
Xu ZiRong expressionlessly gave him a look before he turned around to go work. However, in his heart, he couldn’t help but silently curse. Sure enough, the important elite were all liars. The only reason the Sect Leader had made a concession was because this guy was a scoundrel, right?!
“Bah! This child isn’t cute at all!” The sloppy cultivator pouted. When a normal twelve year old kid suffered an injustice like this, shouldn’t they charge at him while roaring with anger? This was especially the case for children that had a relatively good family background, like Xu ZiRong. He should have been pampered and spoiled to the extreme. In addition, his older brother was a cultivator that had such remarkable innate talent. The sloppy cultivator could only imagine the fantastic treatment these brothers would have received in the Xu family.
What a pity……The older brother was a crafty one, while the younger brother had a wooden face. It had practically scared him into dropping his chin. The lofty cultivator had travelled around the mortal realm who knew how many times already, but among ten thousand cases, a case like theirs truly hadn’t appeared.
Xu ZiYan knew that the man before him was a Nascent Soul DaoJun, and that he was the Master he had just wordshipped. So, rationally, he ought to try his best to curry favour with his new Master. However, the moment he heard him criticize his little brother, he couldn’t help but retort.
“ZiRong is very responsible, and normally he is very lovable. He treats people with courtesy, and he has a modest personality. Were it not for his worries over my injuries, he would not be so rude.”
The sloppy cultivator gave Xu ZiYan a glance before he discreetly pouted again. In his heart, he silently thought, ‘I’m afraid that out of all these words you just said, other than the part about being worried about your injury, none of the other descriptions would fit your little brother.’
Although……Who cared about this?!
The sloppy cultivator thought indifferently. The one he had taken a liking to was Xu ZiYan. As for Xu ZiRong, that boy had followed them himself. After all, no matter what, he could still make out the child’s real nature to some degree. But, even if Xu ZiRong’s personality was quite detached and cold, what about it? With how much importance he had attached to Xu ZiYan, as long as his big brother doesn’t betray the Liu Guang Sect, that brat would never disobey his brother.
As for Xu ZiRong’s relationship with his fellow Sect members…… Who cared about those things? Within these thousands of years, had the Liu Guang Sect ever lacked arrogant people? In every Peak and every Hall, when would there not be someone with bad temper? Adding another Xu ZiRong wouldn’t be too much, nor would there be too little even if Xu ZiRong had not come. And in regards to his other aspects, as long as he did not betray the Liu Guang Sect, the Sect never cared too much.
Perhaps it was precisely because Liu Guang Sect had such a liberal and free atmosphere that among all the other righteous Sects, they became the only intermediary between the righteous and demonic factions, one that closely united both sides.
Little disputes were settled privately, but in the cases where big weapons of war were involved, Liu Guang Sect would inevitably be called over as an arbitrator.
“Master,” Xu ZiYan became aware that the sloppy cultivator seemed to be a bit absent-minded and immediately called out. A moment ago, he already had many doubts. What was the matter behind Master’s orders to Xu ZiRong, the ones about watering the herbal plants and looking after the spiritual grain?
“Ah? What’s wrong?” The sloppy cultivator snapped out of his daze before giving Xu ZiYan a lazy look.
Xu ZiYan explained the misgivings in his heart. The sloppy cultivator yawned before saying, “Oh, it ain’t a big deal. I merely do not raise idle people here. You are my disciple, and you are seriously injured. Lying here and enjoying life is naturally not a problem. However, your little brother forced his way here, and I reluctantly accepted him as a disciple. Since that’s the case, it’s natural he has to do some chores.”
“Besides……” The sloppy cultivator glanced at Xu ZiYan. “The medical herbs in your bath all came from the Sect. Don’t think you can randomly use them. These are all part of the debt you now owe. During the times you can’t move, of course your brother has to take your place and help pay us back. Nowadays, he needs to water the medicinal herb fields that are a few hundred mu1 large everyday. In addition, he needs to capture the insects on the spiritual grain fields that are thirty mu large. Tsk, tsk, for the past few days, he’s been so tired, his little face even looks a bit haggard!”
“What?!” Xu ZiYan immediately became anxious. “ZiRong’s only twelve years of age. How could you make him do such heavy work?!”
A hundred mu ah! That was such a large area! Xu ZiYan only had to imagine Xu ZiRong’s tiny figure carrying two heavy buckets on his shoulders, wiping away sweat while watering the herbal plants for his heart to immediately feel pained.
“So what if he’s twelve?” The sloppy cultivator dug into his ear. “He is a cultivator. Even if he is only twelve, he’s still no longer an ordinary person. He’s only watering the plants for a field that is a hundred mu large. At best, he’ll only be a little bit tired, and he definitely wouldn’t die from this.”
“Master!” Xu ZiYan raised his voice. The sloppy cultivator’s indifferent tone made him feel very indignant.
The sloppy cultivator glared at him. “What are you yelling for? Your Master ain’t deaf yet!”
Xu ZiYan immediately forced himself to calm down. “Master, please allow ZiRong to rest for a few days. For the rest of the work, let me take over.”
“You?” The sloppy cultivator looked askance at him before the man used the tip of his foot to kick Xu ZiYan’s legs, which still completely lacked any feeling. Expressionlessly, he asked, “Do you intend to crawl over to water the plants?”
Xu ZiYan was immediately at a loss for words. Anxiously staring at the sloppy cultivator, he hoped the man could at least reduce Xu ZiRong’s amount of work.
“That’s enough. I know you brothers have a deep, brotherly relationship. At that time, when I wanted to take you away, your little brother almost gambled his life away with me. Really! He acts like I’m some kind of monster who wants to eat you!” The sloppy cultivator said resentfully.
“Master, how about this? For the Sect merits I owe, I’ll repay them by twofold in the future. In return, please stop making ZiRong work so hard.”
“You, ah. There’s nothing wrong, yet you’re blindly worrying.” The sloppy cultivator helplessly rolled his eyes. “Your little brother’s capabilities are quite high, being a bit tired like that wouldn’t kill him. Just consider it as him tempering himself. As for you, make sure to properly rest. In the past few decades, only this batch of inner sect disciples have such good talent. I somehow managed to snatch one back with much difficulty. If internal injuries remain because you didn’t rest properly, and those injuries affect your future development, then wouldn’t those old men ridicule me to death?”
Seeing how his pleas for leniency were useless, Xu ZiYan had no other choice but to shut up. However, it was hard to avoid cursing the man out in his heart. An area more than a hundred mu large, and his Master actually said it was something to temper Xu ZiRong! It was seriously too excessive! This was just child labour, ah!!
When the sloppy cultivator saw how Xu ZiYan still looked sulky, he immediately understood that the teenager was still worried about his little brother. In his heart, the sloppy cultivator felt resentful over how this new disciple actually didn’t trust his own Master. However, after thinking over it more, he realized that the two of them had just met. In addition, the boy was someone he had forcibly swindled to his side. Lacking trust in him seemed to be natural.
“I truly fear you,” the sloppy cultivator muttered before laughing. Then, he pinched his fingers together to activate a spiritual art. Immediately, the water from the basin Xu ZiRong had carried over suddenly floated into the air. Hovering in front of Xu ZiYan, it turned into a water mirror.
The ripples on the water mirror gradually smoothed over. Then, what appeared on its surface turned out to be Xu ZiRong’s figure.
Xu ZiRong was currently carrying two buckets of water. On the mountain path, he ran as fast as if he was flying. He made it seem like he wasn’t expending any effort at all.
“Look carefully.” The sloppy cultivator was afraid Xu ZiYan wouldn’t be able to notice the important point. Thus, he reached out to point at the area beneath Xu ZiRong’s footsteps.
With rapt attention, Xu ZiYan took a good look. It turned out that every time Xu ZiRong set foot on the ground, there would always be a flash of green flitting by his feet.The green was actually a vine, one Xu ZiYan was very familiar with. That was Xu ZiRong’s Wood Arts spiritual energy.
Under the nourishment of Wood Arts spiritual energy, the little strands of grass Xu ZiRong stepped on generated an upward force. Xu ZiRong was actually borrowing this force to launch himself forward.
Although it looked like he was sprinting, in reality, Xu ZiRong was just borrowing the strength of plants to move forward. With this strategy, the spiritual energy he wasted didn’t amount to much. However, the effects of this plan were very good. In addition, he could even practice his control over the Wood Arts spiritual energy. It was practically hitting two birds with one stone.
“Do you see it? Your little brother is still quite energetic,” the sloppy cultivator felt a sense of defeat. In the beginning, he felt that the brat wasn’t pleasing to his eyes. Thus, he deliberately wanted to torment him a bit. Just think about it! He was a magnificent Nascent Soul cultivator. Usually, he didn’t want to accept disciples even if the others sent him extremely talented ones! After much difficulty, he somehow managed to take a liking to Xu ZiYan. However, that brat seemed to think he wanted to harm his older brother!
Don’t think he didn’t see the laughter in the Sect Leader’s eyes. Although he had cut a sorry figure because he had been busy researching the array, and although he had deliberately forced down his cultivation realm, that brat shouldn’t look down on him like this!!!